The Apple and the Homeless Man
The Apple and The Homeless Man
It was raining today; that slushy undecided mixture of snow and rain that November brings; as if the weather knows it is being cast as the villain we all blame it to be, once the cold comes.
Because of a scheduled meeting change, I was traveling home earlier than normal, and while the roads weren’t especially precarious, I felt glad to be driving on them in daylight versus darker.
I pulled off the freeway exit a few miles prior to my usual exit and thought “I wonder if this is one of those circumstances where I think I’m making an impulse decision- but it's predestined in some way?” and followed the inherent rules of the traffic lights that led me to the grocery store.
Texting my Husband, I asked if he needed me to pick up anything- his reply was “No.” and yet, I found myself walking through the aisles anyway.
Perhaps I stopped because I had been back to back with clients all day without having eaten breakfast or lunch. I leisurely zig zagged my way through the shopping center.
I tried to remember what was in my practically full refrigerator at home so I didn’t buy duplicates of anything and chose to bring home a T-bone steak for my husband and son. We don’t eat much beef and it would be a treat for them. I plucked a dozen lemons from the bin and some raw ginger to make homemade tea; woefully acknowledging my growling stomach, I turned down the snack alley.
I think I stood for 3 minutes, internally debating the dilemma of whether to grab almonds or beef jerky to eat on the short drive home. Ultimately, I grabbed both and thought “I’ll decide what I want when I’m in the car.”
The thought crossed my mind as I navigated my way to the checkout lane that there was a time in my life when I had to count every dollar, and impulsively stopping for $40 worth of unnecessary groceries wasn’t even a possibility. When the $10 bag of beef jerky was such an “extra” on the “extra” list that we rarely indulged in the luxury.
As usual, I have a knack for picking the check out line where the cashier is the slowest, so I was Facebooking on my phone patiently as I waited my turn.
I could smell him before I could see him.
Dampness, mold; days old body odor and tabacco stench.
I glanced back to see the next patron behind me. He was thin, and slumped. His clothes filthy. He glanced at me. His face creased and oily- the lines in his weathered skin dark with grit. He could have been a chimney sweep if this was Mary Poppins.
He put a single item on the rotating counter behind my groceries.
I turned back to my phone, the cashier began to sku and beep my items through.
My heart began to pound in my chest.
I didn’t necessarily like the man behind me. But, the truth is, I didn’t dislike him either. I could simply “see” the darkness around him.
The haze of dim light that accompanies those who have journeyed or choose to journey on challenging paths. It’s just a way I’ve been able to “See” since I was a child.
As I waited for my items to be run through I looked out of the corner of my eyes to observe the man. His hands were fumbling with his wallet and he took a crumpled dollar out of it.
In that “pause” of real life, when time stands still I had eons to contemplate the books I’ve been studying the past few years.
Right now, specifically, the Edgar Cayce teachings on the soul’s purpose.
The awareness that we are all great and noble souls in vehicles called bodies that get us from place to place in the 3rd dimension and that the role we play in life is not as important as how we play it.
Do we play to win for ourselves- or for all of us?
Ultimately we are here to serve one another.
There’s a theory from Edgar Cayce’s readings that in the cosmos where all souls are created and exist; we are in a progression of the soul; learning all mysteries of the universe and Godlike essences of what the inherent nature of our soul is.
In this “school” we experience all light and love and truth, compassion and sacred and beautiful attributes of being a soul of the universe; and EARTH is the playground we come here to experience the VIEL and be challenged. As the challenges ensue- they are essentially asking the question "Who are you?" Our answer to this question is the way we engage in living.
Meaning, that before this lifetime we learn theory and LIVING on Earth is application.
If we are evolving to the Nature of Being Godlike- then regardless of the “Life” or Parents, or body, or challenges, or addictions we are born into- our inherent soul essence will eventually come through.
So, summing up- life is about walking your talk.
As I contemplated in this surreal time lapsed moment of life in the local grocery store, I remembered the story of someone I love, who shared with me that when they were doing everything they could to get out of their addiction- they were homeless.
They shared that in order to leave the addiction, they had to walk away from everyone associated with the addiction; and that included having nowhere to live, no clothes to wear, no job or food.
In harsh winter, they slept on park benches in daytime and wandered Walmart at night to stay out of the cold.
I looked at the man behind me in line and thought of that story.
I internally questioned myself and who I am.
I had only one or two items left before the cashier was through with me and I spoke to the man in dirty clothing.
“Just one apple?” I asked. He nodded.
“Here.” I put the apple with my things to pay for it, and turned back to him again. “Do you like beef jerky?”
I gave him his apple and the bag of jerky; he walked away before I had finished paying.
The cashier was surprised, and barked at me “Are you just going to let him go?”
Which I found odd, because he wasn’t mine to stop from going.
I shrugged and paid her.
I thought about the man on the way home and I thought about whether or not to write this blog, because It’s not about me or giving an apple to a hungry man- but about how we show up for one another on this little blue planet.
I know I fail at serving my fellow man over and over. I am clear that I have many human faults and selfish tendencies. But I also remember when food was hard for me to buy. I remember that I have a warm home out of the rain to go to, full of people I love and love me.
An apple doesn’t save the world.
But it reminded me to be grateful.
It reminded me that opportunities are all around us to lift a little.
And I am grateful, I'm grateful to be a little better every day, I’m grateful for the lesson in humility.